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John Key

24 January, 2013

PM recognises young achievers

Prime Minister John Key will meet the 100 participants in this year's Prime Minister's Youth Programme at a dinner in Auckland tonight.

The group of 14- to 17-year-olds from South and West Auckland were chosen to take part in the week-long programme of challenging, fun activities in recognition of making positive, life-changing choices.

Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett also attended the celebration dinner at the Ellerslie Events Centre with the Prime Minister, along with business leaders, celebrities and community leaders.

"Every year I am really impressed by the young people I've met and the inspirational stories I've heard through this programme," says Mr Key. 

"These young people have made a real effort to turn their lives around. They’ve overcome numerous challenges and made a determined effort to change their behaviour and lifestyles."

The participants were nominated by community leaders, including school teachers and Youth Aid officers, after improving academic performance, or by moving away from anti-social behaviour such as truancy or low-level offending.

This is the fourth year of the programme, which sees the participants engaging in a number of activities, including mentoring from sports stars and local celebrities.

Participants in this year's programme will also benefit from follow-up mentoring for up to three months after it finishes this week.